The small yellow flowers of the Sesbania bispinosa are eaten stir-fried, in omelets or in sweets such as in Khanom dok sano. The flower is the provincial flower of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province, Thailand.
In the Thai language the flowers are called ดอกโสน (dok sanō). They are used in Thai cuisine both cooked and raw, they can also be used to make omelettes and sweets.
Sesbania flowers are available in the winter months.
There are several types of Sesbania flowers, which belong to the Fabaceae or pea family. Sesbania flowers are botanically classified as Sesbania bispinosa or Sesbania javanica Miq, Sesbania cannabina, and Sesbania aculeata. They should not be confused with the Agathi or Hummingbird flower (Sesbania grandiflora or Dok Khae), which is white and larger in size. Sesbania flowers are commonly used as a vegetable in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. In Thailand, they are known as Dok Sano, and are commonly found in home gardens and local markets.
Sesbania flowers contain protein and fiber, as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron and sodium. They contain vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C. Studies have shown that they have antioxidant properties.
Sesbania flowers make an attractive addition to any dish. They may be eaten raw in salads, boiled or steams, and cooked in stir fries, soups and curries. They are commonly used in Asia alongside eggs, such as in omelettes. They add a subtle sweet pea flavor to the dish. They are commonly paired with other flavorings such as fish sauce, onions, shallots, lime juice, and cilantro. They are also used in a Thai dessert called kanom bua loi, balls of rice flour cooked in coconut milk. Store Sesbania flowers in a loose plastic bag in the refrigerator, where they will last for up to a week.